Faldo leaves wife for UA junior

The Associated Press

LONDON After weeks of speculation, professional golfer Nick Faldo confirmed yesterday that he was separating from his wife Gill.

The Sun newspaper said Faldo wants to make a clean break and start a new life in the United States with Brenna Cepelak, 20, who is on a golf scholarship at the University of Arizona.

The split was announced in a brief statement by Faldo's agent, John Simpson of the International Management Group.

''With regret, Gill and Nick . announced they have split after nearly 10 years,'' the statement said. ''Gill and Nick request privacy to themselves, their family and friends. There will be no further statement.''

The statement came on the same day the Sun reported that Faldo had offered his wife a $11.8 million divorce settlement.

''He'll be seeing a lot more of Brenna when everything is out in the open,'' an unidentified friend was quoted as saying. ''He doesn't like having to sneak around behind his wife's back.''

According to yesterday's Sun, Faldo's wife would receive the couple's $4.7 million mansion near the Wentworth golf club and a payment of $6.3 million.

The Sun said Gill Faldo would receive a $790,000 pension for her work as director of Nick Faldo International and custody of their three children, Natalie, 9, Matthew, 6, and Georgia, 2.

The Sun said Faldo would get the couple's luxury Florida home, their Swiss chalet, the freedom to move to the United States, all future income from golf winnings, his four companies and a golf course he owns.

Gill reportedly would resign as his business partner and give up any control she has in their companies.

''It's very sad,'' the unidentified friend said. ''There have been a lot of tears and soul-searching. He put his offer in to Gill and basically she has accepted it. She hasn't much choice.''

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